It got brought up this week in German news that after fourteen years of having the Euro around in Germany.....there's still a large amount of money (roughly 6.6 billion Euro worth) that remains in the old D-Marks.
When they made the big switch over in 2001.....they made a law that said that the national bank has to accept D-Marks.....for trade-in purposes, with no time-limit. The exchange rate? Oh, that stayed the same....1.95 D-Marks to one Euro.
I read through all the numbers and the one shocking number is the number of coins estimated to still be out there and surviving in boxes, vaults, or basements.....twenty-four billion coins, all total. In my place, there's probably five or six such coins....kept for memory purposes.
Where is the six billion Euro? It's hard to say. I'm guessing that some of it rests outside of Germany and held by the owner as still of value....since there is no deadline on changing the money over. Let's face it.....if you were a black-market trader and held twenty-million in D-Marks....you couldn't just walk in and flip the money to Euro without answering some questions. No one says what amount draws questions but I'd take a guess that after you show up with 10,000 D-Marks....someone would ask how you came across the money and your best answer is Uncle Johan left you a mysterious box when he died. That's good for one single usage but you couldn't show up next month with another 10,000 D-Marks and claim a second mysterious box answer.
The fact that money still gets exchanged yearly.....means that the policy will be held in place to continue the exchange program. When we finally reach a year where not a single coin or bill is exchanged....that'll probably be the year that they consider ending the exchanges.
As for the twenty-four billion coins? I'd take a guess that every single German over forty years old has a dozen-odd coins in their house and keep them as a reminder of the D-Mark days.